Delegates at the Republican State Convention defeated a resolution that was aimed at condemning two GOP state lawmakers for their support of Common Core education standards.
The resolution called state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and state Rep. Steve Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake, “biased champions” of Common Core who “have neither the ability, the inclination, nor the commitment to represent the plainly stated position and will of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.”
Republican delegates who attended the state convention shot it down by a vote of 351-to-142. Marathon County Republican party Chair Bruce Trueblood thought the resolution was a bad idea, saying it was akin to publicly condemning a member of your own family.
“I think they should condemn Common Core if they want to condemn something,” he said. “I think they should fight against the true problem, which is not Luther Olsen: it's Common Core. If they're going to fight against Common Core, fight against Common Core. Don't fight against fellow Republicans.”
That didn't set well with those who wanted the resolution, including tea party activist Vince Schmuki of Shorewood.
“Whether or not this vote went down, the bottom line is the grassroots—the people who count, the people who vote—they've already made up their minds that he has to go,” Schmuki said.
Olsen is next up for election in 2016. Kestell is retiring after this year.
While the Republican Party base views Common Core education standards as an infringement on liberty by the federal government, they're supported by a major backer of Republican campaigns. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce says the standards make sure schools are consistent, accountable and competitive.